One of the best races we have ever witnessed sent Marcos Ambrose to victory lane for the second year in a row at Watkins Glen. Going into the final lap Ambrose was third and he crossed the finish line first. Many factors affected the end of the race but oil was the biggest one. After Bobby Labonte blew his engine with two to go, he laid oil all over the track and the leaders would need to go through it to make it to the finish.
NASCAR officials weren’t aware of the amount oil on the racing surface so they did not throw a yellow flag. Since NASCAR didn’t throw the yellow-flag, Kyle Busch wasn’t able to go to victory lane. Busch was the leader taking the white flag and when he went down into turn one, he slipped in the oil laid down by the No.47 car. Then Busch continued to slip in the oil and eventually got turned by Brad Keselowski. After that incident, Keselowski was leading followed by Ambrose.
Both cars continued to slip around and eventually Ambrose got past Keselowski for the victory. Both Ambrose and Keselowski commented after the race about the last lap by both saying “That’s the way racing should be.” This race was by far the best one of the season and we saw some of the best racing ever today.
The oil factor on the last lap proved once again that these NASCAR drivers are the best race car drivers in the world. The race started out exciting when Kyle Busch challenged pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya for the lead and Busch went on to lead lap one. Also on lap one, we saw Brian Vickers head to the garage with engine issues and he did not return to the race.
On lap nine, we saw our first spin of the day when David Ragan got into Boris Said and Said spun around. Remember back to last year when it was Said getting into David Ragan on the last lap, sending Ragan hard into the barrier and starting a big crash in turn two. When Ragan hit Said in today’s race, it could have been some payback.
The first caution of the day came out on lap 26 when Jamie McMurray cut down a tire while entering the backstretch and hit the wall hard. Under the caution, Kurt Busch had an issue with his tire and when he entered turn six, Busch spun around and his tire popped off. Busch then went to the garage. Many of the leading cars made pit stops under that caution. Trouble for wild card contender Joey Logano began on lap thirty when Logano went behind the wall, he eventually did make it back on track though. On lap 32, pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya went behind the wall with some sort of engine issue. On lap 39, Marcos Ambrose took the lead for the first time from Brad Keselowski. Keselowski would eventually retake the lead on lap 47 when Ambrose made his pit stop.
Just after halfway; Keselowski was the leader followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart. The next yellow flag flew on lap 58 when Denny Hamlin blew his engine. This is the third straight race at Watkins Glen where Hamlin has failed to finish and the sixth straight road course race where Hamlin has had issues. After the race, Hamlin fell back to tenth in points and is only 40 points ahead of eleventh place Kasey Kahne. Trouble for Jason Leffler struck on lap 65 when he blew his engine on the backstretch.
The final yellow-flag of the day flew with 20 laps to go when Tony Stewart spun out and hit the wall while running in second. Stewart got loose all by himself exiting the final turn of the course and hit the inside wall just before pit road. Point’s leader Dale Earnhardt Jr had issues with seven laps to go when he spun out in turn five. Earnhardt Jr lost a ton of positions and no caution flag flew. That incident lost Earnhardt Jr the points lead but going into Michigan next weekend, Earnhardt Jr could easily get it back.
Bobby Labonte in the No.47 started leaking oil on the track with two laps to go, NASCAR saw the oil but they didn’t think it was enough to throw a caution so they let the leaders race back to the finish. Taking the white flag was leader Kyle Busch followed by Keselowski and Ambrose. Busch started to slip around heading down hill into turn one and that allowed Keselowski to catch him. By the time they were in turn two Keselowski was there and going up the esses Keselowski got into Busch spinning him out.
Keselowski did apologize to Kyle Busch over twitter following the race. That wreck cost Busch a race everyone thought he had won. Busch did manage to get going again and finish in the seventh position. After Busch was out of the way, Keselowski was the leader followed by Ambrose who was close in tow. Going into the inner loop, both Keselowski and Ambrose started to slip in the oil and both ran off course in the inner loop but managed to stay close to each other entering turn five. Keselowski made a big slip in the oil exiting turn five and he got loose enough where Ambrose could pass him for the lead.Ambrose managed to clear him and they went off into turn six. In turn six, Ambrose got loose and slid off into the run-off area and Keselowski closed the gap. They were side by side going into turn seven but Keselowski slipped on the exit of the corner and
Ambrose powered to the lead and crossed the finish line first. The wrecking wasn’t done though, last week’s winner Jeff Gordon slipped in the oil and spun around in turn seven and he hit the inside wall before pit road. Gordon did re-fire and ended up with a 21st place finish and Gordon is no longer in the second wild card spot. Many fans say that was the craziest last lap we’ve seen in years and I can’t argue. Ambrose pulled into victory lane for the second straight year at the Glen and he celebrated just as much.
A huge point’s shakeup occurred following today’s race and Earnhardt Jr is no longer atop the point’s standings. Jimmie Johnson now leads the points; he is up on second place Greg Biffle by one point. Kenseth is third down by two points to Johnson and Earnhardt Jr is fourth. A second place finish by Keselowski earned him a new point’s position of fifth. Clint Bowyer jumped up to seventh in the points and Denny Hamlin took a plunge down to tenth. Kasey Kahne moved up to eleventh in points and he still holds the first wild card position. Ryan Newman is the new man in the second wild card position.
Kyle Busch is only six points behind Newman though. Gordon has fallen to fifteenth in the standings and will likely need a win to move up. Logano will need a win or two to make the chase now as well. With the win, Ambrose is now in wild card contention and will likely need another win to have a shot at making the chase. For not being a road course expert, Sam Hornish Jr had a great run and finished fifth. Brad Keselowski came up short all weekend at Watkins Glen by finishing second in both races at the Glen this weekend.
A wild one at the Glen gave Ambrose his second career win and some hope at making it into the chase. The wild card drama will continue next week at Michigan, tune in to see who can capture victory.
Results via Nascar.com
|2||4||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||43/1||90||Running|
|3||3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Lowe’s Cortez Silver||41/0||90||Running|
|4||8||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||40/0||90||Running|
|5||17||22||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||0||90||Running|
|8||24||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Ford EcoBoost||36/0||90||Running|
|9||13||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American||35/0||90||Running|
|10||9||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||34/0||90||Running|
|11||6||39||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||U.S. Army||33/0||90||Running|
|12||22||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Rheem||32/0||90||Running|
|13||20||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance||31/0||90||Running|
|19||7||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot / Mobil 1||25/0||90||Running|
|21||12||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger||23/0||90||Running|
|22||32||34||David Ragan||Ford||Scorpion Coatings / Al’s Liners||22/0||90||Running|
|23||35||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||21/0||90||Running|
|24||42||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||20/0||90||Running|
|26||39||33||Stephen Leicht *||Chevrolet||Little Joes A
|27||26||47||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Miller Welders / Freightliner||17/0||90||Running|
|28||16||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew||16/0||89||Running|
|29||36||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||Genny Light / AM-FM Energy||0||88||Running|
|31||27||51||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction Services||13/0||81||Running|
|32||14||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||The Home Depot||12/0||71||Running|
|34||23||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Freight||10/0||57||Engine|
|35||41||249||Jason Leffler||Toyota||America Israel Racing||0||42||Engine|
|36||31||36||Dave Blaney||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing||8/0||41||Susp.|
|37||11||98||Michael McDowell||Ford||TRAQM.com||7/0||30||Rear Gear|
|38||38||26||Josh Wise *||Ford||MDS Transport||6/0||25||Electrical|
|40||37||10||J.J. Yeley||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing||4/0||15||Brakes|
|41||40||119||Chris Cook||Toyota||Plinker Tactical||3/0||5||Brakes|
|42||43||30||Patrick Long||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||2/0||2||Brakes|
|43||33||55||Brian Vickers||Toyota||My Classic Garage||1/0||0||Engine|